Sunday, June 7, 2009

Off and Running. . . .

The summer has officially begun here in East Lansing! Friday was the last day of school. I think that the school purposely makes the last two weeks as crazy as possible so that even the parents are THRILLED for it to be the last day. Honestly, it feels like it's easier to have them with me 24 hours a day than run around from event to event, shelling out money and making treats for this and that. Every year I have so much going on that I am begging for that final day. One of my friends actually made a spread sheet to keep track of the last two weeks. It's the sprint at the end of the race.


The last day is always a 1/2 day in our district. In Zachary's school the majority of that half day is field day. Last year I was a co-captain of running it. This year I was NOT. Daniel's school, since he was and I stress WAS a 6th grader, was having a very small assembly for his class. As I have mentioned they are moving on to the middle school next year, so this was his last day in this building. In order to make both of these events, I signed up for set up at field day. I ran around for and hour and a half, mostly filling up water balloons. Luckily it was a nice day, since I was soaked from the knees down by the time the event started! I had exactly 1/2 hour to watch Zachary hit some of his events before heading over to Daniel's school. If I was a great mom, this is where I would be inserting wonderful photographs of this event, possibly in video form. But no. I forgot my camera. I did take ONE and only one on my phone. . . .



At 11:00 am I zipped over to Daniel's school. They were behind schedule which suited me just fine. It gave me time to chat with a few parents. Really the only parents who came were those of us who were there to serve root beer floats to the kids. They didn't publicize the assembly, but I was very glad I saw it. Two kids got up and talked to the 5th graders about the responsibilities involved with being a 6th grader and passing on their words of wisdom to them. Then a girl, who I believe said she was from Iran (there are something like 45 countries represented at this school) and talked. She just came to this country in January. She was amazing. She was a bit shy, but her words were wonderful. It made me proud to live here to hear her kind words about our school and our country. She spoke of the relatives in Syria who they are trying to get to come here. Of her love for school and her sadness for the school year to be over. The love of learning English. It was clearly different than the children pining to get out the door and take on summer. The 5th graders then made a human bridge for the 6th graders to walk under. This froze me because after 4th grade they did the same thing and Daniel flipped out crying at the stress. He didn't want to do it, which was fine, but it was upsetting to see him so stressed. Happily this year, he just got in line behind everyone else, crouched down and walked under the bridge! Symbolically, once you were on the other side, you were a 7th grader. He liked this idea and has proudly announced since then that he IS a 7th grader. Again, if only I had my camera. . .

After a quick Mickey D's lunch we went off to the Aquatics Center. This is a water park/pool in East Lansing that is Daniel's favorite thing to do. He had been with his class the day before, and on Friday to make it even a more special day we met about 5 families there to spend the afternoon. I purchased my season passes that allows for no standing in line (worth it right there) and unlimited access until Labor Day. We are officially set for summer! We were there for FOUR hours. Usually it's more like 2 hours, but everyone held up well and Daniel never left the pool except when I made him get out to apply more sunscreen. We succeeded in thoroughly exhausting everyone!

Next on the agenda was a fundraiser for our schools for yet another sensory room for another elementary school. It was bowling so I figured it would be great. All four of us went bowling for 2 hours Sunday morning. Everyone was happy the whole time, cheering for each other, eating snacks and competing. All while helping raise money! It was fabulous! Again, I intended to bring my camera, but failed! What's wrong with me??

Daniel had worn his tennis shoes with socks since we'd be wearing bowling shoes. He was having trouble getting them on so I warned him that he would need new shoes soon. This used to be such a huge hassle. In the middle of the afternoon Daniel emerged from the basement and announced that it was time to to get new shoes. "Let's go see the waterfall." Those of you from around here, probably know that is Playmakers. A fantastic running store. I started shopping for Daniel's shoes years ago. He has problems with his feet and used to wake in the night screaming from pain. He seems to have flat feet (from his fathers side of the family!) and therefore needs good supportive shoes. I could never find shoes that worked so I went to the best store I could think of . Their staff actually know what they are talking about, which I find very refreshing. I also had the problem that Daniel could not (and still cannot) tie shoes. So I went to Playmakers one day on my own to ask them all of these questions, WITHOUT Daniel so he didn't have to wait. As I said, this was years ago and at this time the thought of changing shoes was enough to send him into orbit. Todd and I were reminiscing of the MONTHS it would take to con him into switching to new shoes. The crying and complaining would go on endlessly.

Here are my tips for shoes:

I had all sorts of strategies. I'd buy 3 pair of the same shoes going up in sizes so at least they looked the same. This worked for a while, but when he started needed nearly adult sized shoes, I couldn't figure out how to get past the tying problem. This store was my savior. They told me which brand of shoes would be the best for his flat feet (Brooks). That's right, cha ching. They are worth it. I always head to the sale rack in the back of the store. This still means $80 ON SALE, but it saves the foot aches. . .The next thing was the laces. They recommended these laces, which add on another $8, but I had never heard of them. I guess they are for runners (ahem, I am not in this category) They are called Yankz! And those $8 laces have saved us. No more problems with tying shoes, or should I say NOT being able to tie shoes. They sell these at the running store. Initially, I could not figure out how to put them in and the nice boy at the counter took mercy on me and did it for me while we were in the store. But now my husband is the shoe lace guy and once they are in, we don't have to do anything to them. This go round, Daniel's old shoes were a 9 men's. He walked out of the store in size 11 men's!! 11!!! He is 12 1/2! I fear my next shoe dilemma will be trying to find 15's in a few years!

The fabulous staff at Playmakers also helped us with Daniel's Crocs. If you actually don't know what those are click here. The back strap had come undone and there was a little part missing. I was so distraught because I thought we'd be buying more Croc's on top of it, but they pulled out a box and gave us the little piece to fix it. FOR FREE. That's what happens when you find a great store with a great staff. They take care of you. Even better is, Daniel did not freak out when his Crocs broke. He was calm and composed and said "we'd fix them". AND WE DID. Now we have new running shoes, fixed Crocs, school is out and we are literally off and running. . . .

2 comments:

rhemashope said...

I've never seen laces like those before! What a great tip (for the future)! We have had lots of shoe issues with Rhema so I can relate. Glad Daniel handled "crossing over" to 7th grade so well - it's a good sign for things to come! I appreciate your mention of the girl from Iran - thankfulness like that always changes my perspective.

mama edge said...

Your school's last-minute frenzy does indeed sound like a way to make summer seem like "lazy days" in comparison.

As for shoes, I'd never thought of buying duplicate shoes in larger sizes. Great idea! Rocky has become very attached to his Clarks slip-om loafers which are, of course, discontinued. Next time, I'll pry open my stingy wallet and buy the next size up. The extra bonus: one less trip to the shoe store, with its fluorescent lights, weird smells, and screaming kids. Not exactly Rocky-friendly. Thanks for the tip!